The Rewatch 29: The Changling

Series: Star Trek (The Original Series)
Episode: 2.03 The Changeling (9-29-67)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 4/4/27

Notable Guest Stars:
Vic Perrin – Nomad’s voice.  This is the second appearance of Vic Perrin (who was in Season 1’s Arena) and he will appear once more in this season.

Review:            

I swear I have watched this episode before, I just assumed it was called Nomad.  Therefore, when I came across “The Changeling” I got excited thinking it was a tie in with Odo from Deep Space 9.  That was not the case.  Instead this is more like the various TOS movies where earth sent out a probe and it has returned quite different then how we sent it.

The Enterprise comes across Nomad.  It was a probe sent out in the early 2000s to seek out new life forms.  Somehow along the way it has been damaged and now seeks only “perfect” lifeforms.  Of which there are none.  He ends up destroying nearly 4 billion people in one system within a week.  Thankfully for the Enterprise, he mistakes James T. Kirk for his creator, Dr. Roykirk.

You may be (not) surprised by the fact that doesn’t help the Enterprise avoid problems.

Nomad, as one can expect, causes problems.  Spock eventually finds out the truth, but it causes even more problems.  This season has been so far friendly to the crew, but this episode makes up for it with four deaths (and they are actually all redshirts) by Nomad.  That’s not including Scotty’s partially dead experience or Uhura’s mind wipe.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by Marc Daniels
  • Written by John Meredyth Lucas
  • Is there anything Spock can’t meld with.
  • Dr. Jackson Roykirk is Marc Daniels.

Pros:

  • Uhura speaking Swahili.  (Nichelle Nichols fought for this)
  • Uhura/Chapel friendship
  • Interesting camera angles
  • Seeing Kirk make a joke and McCoy and Spock trying to figure out if he’s serious.

Cons:

  • I sense the need to check in on all our satellites right now and make sure they are okay.  Because apparently, we are bad robot parents.
  • Warp 15?  According to later series, its impossible to go faster in warp then 10 (there were awkward Lizard babies.  No one wants awkward lizard babies.)
  • Some awkward special effects that the remasterers left in when the did this episode.

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